Trump and Hatred
By Zoe Westlund
With the 2020 election coming up next year and the current outrage regarding president Trump, politics are raging and are dividing our country.
Since Trump took office in January of 2017, hate crimes have spiked, yet many people remain skeptical regarding how his election has affected hate-fueled crimes in this country. However, with technology today being more advanced than ever before, there is overwhelming evidence that Trump is fueling the rift that is tearing America apart.
Trump has had a long history of racist and hateful comments, spanning back to 1973. He has made many well-documented crude statements and actions against Native Americans, Jews, African Americans, people with disabilities, Muslims, and, most recently, Hispanics and Latin Americans. As stated by David Remmick in The New Yorker, “Telling his sixty million Twitter followers that four members of Congress- Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Presley, Alexandria Ocasio, and Rashida Tlaib- four democrats on the left, four women of color, should ‘go back’ the countries ‘from which they came’ if they were to keep criticizing him.” These remarks are just one of many examples of how Trump encourages hateful beliefs.
Another example that affected the lives of thousands of people was the El Paso shooting which occurred this past summer. The shooter himself, Patrick Crusius, confessed to the authorities not long after the shooting. “Police said he confessed the Aug. 3 attack and told them he was targeting ‘Mexicans,’” recalled Mark Berman for The Washington Post this past Wednesday.
Furthermore, according to Michael Kunzelman for AP News, “President Donald Trump has often railed about an 'invasion of illegals' at the southern border, words echoed in a screed the El Paso shooting suspect apparently posted that called the attack that killed 22 people at a Walmart his response to a ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas.’” By simply scrolling through Trump’s Twitter account, people who harbor underlying hatred can be fueled by Trump’s words to carry out monstrous crimes like Crusius did.
Moreover, according to statistics published by the United States Department of Justice, hate crimes have spiked since the inauguration of Trump. In 2016, the number of race motivated crimes was 3,489, and the number of skyrocketed by nearly 1,000, totaling 4,131 hate crimes in 2017. It is abundantly clear that Trump has had a significant impact on the level of hate crimes in the U.S., most crimes being race related, as seen by the spike in hate crimes since his election in November 2016 and his inauguration in January 2017.
According to a study done by NPR, “Harassment, threats and intimidation of minorities and immigrants spiked nationwide after President Trump's election in November. Comprehensive statistics are hard to come by, but officials and watch groups say hate-motivated incidents remain higher than usual more than three months after Election Day.” This research was conducted in February 2017, and by looking at the news headlines since then, the number of hate crimes since Trump’s election appears only to have increased.
Donald Trump, as a world leader, is supposed to be setting an example to all of us that says since we are all Americans, we all matter in this country, regardless of our race, gender, disability, religion, or where we are from.
Less related to hate crimes, but as previously mentioned, Trump preaches words of hate for all his Twitter followers and the world alike to read. By opening Twitter and going to his page where he posts daily, one can see that he is not accepting and not remorseful about not being inclusive of all people. What he posts on Twitter is available for all Americans to read, which ignites that spark that is fueling people and inciting hate crimes.
Zoe Westlund is an eleventh grader in Ms. LoScalzo's journalism class.